Steak & Peppercorn Sauce with Potatoes Dauphinoise

I adore classic dishes, and when executed well it is heavenly. Steak is one of those classic dishes that I love, though hard to execute well to my specific liking. Cooked too long and the beef becomes too tough to eat, cooked not long enough and it becomes too rare to eat for some. It is therefore not an easy dish to cook for anyone, a challenge for any chef or cooks to cook this dish with exact precision meeting the requirement of the ‘eater’. It is to no surprise that I have come across hundreds of cookbooks and sites with the varying definition of medium-rare, well done and so on which also varies by countries and regions…
This recipe and the cooking time guidelines are from my experience of cooking ‘steak’. Now, steak executed to my liking aside, it is also a challenge to find an excellent and authentic bearnaise sauce, peppercorn sauce and chimichurri sauce. I am therefore in a mission and have to admit had been so in the past ten years to hunt across the world for the best steakhouses that serve these sauces well.
Since I have featured my favourite bearnaise sauce recipe in this blog, I thought it would be only fair to post peppercorn sauce this time.

Rib-Eyed Steak with Bernaise Sauce and triple cooked chips

I hope you enjoy this newly tested peppercorn sauce recipe; I will soon embark on a challenge experimenting on chimichurri sauce. Providing I don’t burn the kitchen down or my phone as I did last time. I will share the final edible version of my chimichurri sauce experiment.

Serves 2
KITCHEN KIT: knife, chopping board, a medium size bowl, a small whisk, a heatproof casserole dish, two saucepans, two wooden spoons, a griddle pan and a tong.

Ingredients:

For the steak:
• Two steaks of your choice, (I prefer sirloin, tender and well-marbled with fat)
• 3-4 tbsp of good quality oil
• Pinches of salt and pepper

 

For the peppercorn sauce:
• 2 tbsps. Of black and pink peppercorns, crushed with a pester and mortar or bashed with a rolling pin.
• 50g. of good quality unsalted butter
• 1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped
• 100ml brandy (optional)
• 100ml rich beef stock
• 70 ml double cream
• Pinches of salt

 

For the sides- vegetables and potatoes dauphinoise:
• A bunch of tender stem broccoli
• 1 tbsp. of butter
• 4 medium size Maris Piper or red-skinned desirée potatoes peeled and sliced with a mandolin (3-4mm).
• 2 cloves, garlic peeled and bashed with a rolling pin
• 200 ml double cream
• 200 ml full-fat milk
• Pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper
• 70g grated gruyere cheese

 

Cooking Method:

For the steak:
• Season your steak by rubbing the olive oil, salt and pepper all over it.
• Place a griddle pan over very high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the pan is smoking hot, this will give the steak a smoky flavour. Add the steak and cook to your liking. Leave the steak to cook without turning it regularly. Once cooked, leave on a clean plate to let it rest for 5 minutes, serve at room temperature.

 

For an ideal cooking time of a 2-2.5 cm thick sirloin steak
• Medium rare: 2 min each side
• Medium: 2.5 mins each side
• Well-done: 4-5 minutes each side

 

For the peppercorn sauce:
• Place a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter, add the shallots and cook them until translucent.
• Add the brandy and let the alcohol evaporates for 3-4 minutes, add the beef stock and let it boil for another 3-4 minutes.
• Reduce the heat to low and add the cream and crushed peppercorns. Stirring constantly to heat the cream gently.
• Season with pinches of salt.

 

For the sides- vegetables and potatoes dauphinoise:

For the tender stem broccoli:
• Place the griddle pan over very high heat, once smoking hot add your tender stem broccoli. Cook for 5-7 minutes until they are charred and soft. Turn them occasionally to cook all sides of the vegetables. *Use the same griddle pan you used to cook the steak to cook the tender stem broccoli, the vegetables will absorb the flavour of the steak.

For the potatoes dauphinoise:
• Brush your heatproof casserole dish with butter.
• Heat oven to 190C
• Meanwhile, place your saucepan over medium heat, pour the double cream, the milk and add the garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer then add the sliced potatoes.
• Cook and stir gently for approximately 3 mins. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
• Remove and discard the garlic. Next, remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and place in your casserole dish. Pour over the garlic-infused cream over the potatoes and scatter the grated cheese.
• Baked in the oven for 30 min and until the potatoes are cooked and brown on the top.

Bon appetite!

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